As Multifamily Insider discussed recently, the world—property management included—has changed forever. The internet and social media platforms have made it incredibly easy for people to give feedback, a fact which can either hurt or harm someone in a management position. For example, the recent explosion over Susan G. Komen’s decision to pull funds from Planned Parenthood: in the “old days,” i.e. just a few years ago, people’s outrage would have been expressed in letters to the editor, or at most a protest. But anyone paying attention to the news that week knows that the outrage expressed online was so quick and powerful that the organization reversed its decision almost immediately.
Property managers can experience this kind of backlash on a smaller scale. Twitter, Facebook, and review sites may aid democracy, but they are fickle creatures. To stay on the good side of social media, so to speak, Multifamily Insider writer Jim Baumgartner suggests very clear communication, both with social media and without. You may have a very good reason for raising rents, but unless you explain it to tenants, all they know is that they’re paying more—hardly fodder for happy renting.
Facebook can be a good forum for discussion. You can post detailed explanations of possibly contentious decisions, and ask for feedback. But it’s also wise to do things face-to-face, like providing a public forum or talking to your tenants when they come into the office. Angry rants are much easier to conduct to a computer screen, whereas in-person interactions impart a little more responsibility to each party.
Just remember, renters want some very basic things. If you give them with the following, you’ll be more likely to be “Liked” on Facebook than slandered on Yelp.
-Provide quality housing
-Keep the housing clean and safe, and at a high-value for the price paid
-Be courteous and respectful
-And, as we’ve posted about before on our blog, LISTEN. People want to be heard.
How do you use social media to connect with tenants? Tell us here or on Facebook!